Syria: Germany has discreetly paid nearly €50 million to rebels in Idleb

Syria: Germany has discreetly paid nearly €50 million to rebels in Idleb

Jeremy Swift

This information is likely to raise serious doubts about German efforts in the various processes set up to resolve the political crisis in Syria: on 1 November, the daily newspaper Tagesspiegel revealed that the German government is funding several million euros worth of rebels still present in Idleb and involved in a conflict against the Syrian army.

This information was revealed in an answer given by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Walter Lindner (Social Democrat) to a question asked by MEP Evrim Sommer (Die Linke, radical left), to which the newspaper was able to have access.

The elected representative wanted to know more about the sums that Berlin officially pays for reconstruction and humanitarian aid in Syria, and thus exercise her control over the executive branch.

On that occasion, she learned that no less than 37.5 million euros had been transferred to rebel groups by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development would also have made these payments possible.

In total, Berlin is said to have paid nearly €49 million – a particularly high amount, as noted by Evrim Sommer.

To these would be added 11.3 million other sources, or 17 million euros from the European Union, for which Germany would have played an intermediary role.

Particularity of these financings: Berlin does not communicate the precise list of recipients. “The government does not want to make this clear, because the partners with whom Ms. Merkel spoke, Russia and Turkey, may not be happy,” Evrim Sommer told Sputnik.

On 27 October, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Istanbul for an extraordinary summit on Syria.

While the first two had insisted on the abuses committed by the “Syrian regime”, the last two had stressed the need to liquidate terrorists and rebels pursuing violent actions against the Syrian State.

All, however, had agreed on the need to start an open political transition process, based on negotiations and with the final decision to be taken by the Syrian people.